Thursday, December 11, 2008
~ A. R. Natarajan, Arunachala, From Rigveda to Ramana Maharshi
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Interviewer: I wonder -- have you met during your long years in India any other enlightened saints?
Lucia Osborne: No one came up to Bhagavan! He was extraordinary. Just to see him walk, just to watch his actions… they conveyed something. And I want you to really understand about his silence: it was most potent. With others, such silence could be embarrassing … I won’t say any more.
Interviewer: Did you and your husband build this house or is it Ashram property?
Lucia Osborne: I built it with four workmen, without a plan, without an architect. I built it like a sculpture: first two rooms, then the verandas, steps, arches — and the upstairs is rather nice. We just created it as we went along. The people here have such love, such devotion to God. One of the workmen was deepening the well, and I saw him folding his hands to do namaskar. He had found a small picture of Bhagavan in the well — floating — it must have fallen in.~ Malcolm Tillis, New Lives
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Maharaj: You assert yourself to be what you are not and deny yourself to be what you are. You omit the element of pure cognition, of awareness free from all personal distortions. Unless you admit the reality of chit, you will never know yourself.
Q: What am I to do? I do not see myself as you see me. Maybe you are right and I am wrong, but how can I cease to be what I feel I am?
M: A prince who believes himself to be a beggar can be convinced conclusively in one way only: he must behave as a prince and see what happens. Behave as if what I say is true and judge by what actually happens. All I ask is the little faith needed for making the first step. With experience will come confidence and you will not need me any more. I know what you are and I am telling you. Trust me for a while.
Q: To be here and now, I need my body and its senses. To understand, I need a mind.
M: The body and the mind are only symptoms of ignorance, of misapprehension. Behave as if you were pure awareness, bodiless and mindless, spaceless and timeless, beyond 'where' and 'when' and 'how'. Dwell on it, think of it, learn to accept its reality. Don't oppose it and deny it all the time. Keep an open mind at least. Yoga is bending the outer to the inner. Make your mind and body express the real which is all and beyond all. By doing you succeed, not by arguing.
~ I Am That
Thursday, October 9, 2008
O Mind, it is not wise for you to come out. It is best to go within. Hide yourself deep within the Heart and escape from the tricks of maya, which tries to ruin you by drawing you outwards.
[O Mind,] do not waste your life in roaming outside, pursuing wonders and wallowing in enjoyments. To know the Self through grace and to abide in this way firmly in the Heart is alone worthwhile.
Even if the jiva gives up all other attachments, eminence is only [to be found] in the cessation of the attachment to the flawed mind. Only the mind, the great delusion, is the fetter. Nothing else can bind the jiva in the same way [that the mind can].
If the mind is transcended, all else, which does not exist apart from the mind, is transcended also.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I turned to him. "But you had no guru?" A rustle of shocked horror ran through the hall. But the Maharshi was not in the least disturbed by my audacious remark. On the contrary, he looked at me with a twinkle in his eye. Then he threw back his head and gave a joyous, whole-hearted laugh. It endeared him to me as nothing else could. A saint who can turn the laugh against himself is a saint indeed.
... I had been in despair at ever getting the Maharshi alone. It is hard to unburden the soul before a crowd. But early one morning I came into the hall and found him there unattended, emanating a wonderful stillness and peace. I asked quietly if I might talk with him. He nodded, smiling, and sent for someone to translate. On the arrival of a devotee, I put my first question.
"What are the hindrances to the realization of the true Self?"
"Memory chiefly, habits of thought, accumulated tendencies."
"How does one get rid of these hindrances?"
"Seek for the Self through meditation in this manner. Trace every thought back to its origin, which is only the mind. Never allow thought to run on. If you do, it will be unending. Take it back to its starting place -- the mind -- again and again, and it and the mind will both die of inaction. The mind only exists by reason of thought. Stop that and there is no mind. As each doubt and depression arises, ask yourself, 'Who is it that doubts? What is it that is depressed?' Go back constantly to the question, 'Who is the "I"? Where is it?' Tear everything away until there is nothing but the Source of all left. And then -- live always in the present and only in it. There is no past and future, save in the mind."
~ from Mrs. Piggot's account in Arunachala's Ramana: Boundless Ocean of Grace, Volume III
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Sri Nisargadatta: These will come with earnestness. What is supremely important is to be free from contradictions: the goal and the way must not be on different levels; life and light must not quarrel; behavior must not betray belief. Call it honesty, integrity, wholeness; you must not go back, undo, uproot, abandon the conquered ground. Tenacity of purpose and honesty in pursuit will bring you to your goal.
Q: Tenacity and honesty are endowments, surely! Not a trace of them I have.
Sri N: All will come as you go on. Take the first step first. All blessings come from within. Turn within. 'I am' you know. Be with it all the time you can spare, until you revert to it spontaneously. There is no simpler and easier way.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
My Guru became my all-in-all, my home, mother and father, everything. All my senses left their places, and concentrated themselves in my eyes, and my sight was centred on him. Thus my guru was the sole object of my meditation and I was conscious of none else. While meditating on him my mind and intellect were silent and I had thus to keep quiet and bow to him in silence.
~Shirdi Sai Baba
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Ramana has said:
“The removal of ignorance is the aim of practice and not acquisition of Realisation.” (Talks).
The most fundamental piece of ignorance is that there exists an individual self who is going to do sadhana, and that by doing sadhana, this individual self will disappear or be merged in some super-being.
Until this concept is eliminated on the mental level, it is not an exaggeration to say that one is wasting one’s time in attempts to surrender or to enquire ‘Who am I?’ Correct attitude and correct understanding of this matter are of pre-eminent importance if the application of Ramana’s teaching is to be successful.
Returning now to the practice of surrender, and bearing in mind the necessity of maintaining the right attitude with regard to the nonexistence of the individual self, there remains the problem of how to surrender since the mere desire to surrender invents an illusory person who is going to surrender.
The key to this problem and the key to all problems connected with the practice of Ramana’s teachings, is to bypass the mind and move to the realm of being. One cannot truly surrender without escaping from that vast accumulation of ideas and desires we call the mind, and according to Ramana, one cannot escape or destroy the mind by any kind of mental activity.
Ramana’s solution is to let the mind subside to the point where it disappears, and what remains when the mind has subsided is the simple, pure being that was always there. In a conversation in Talks Ramana gives the following illuminating answer. He says:
“It is enough that one surrenders oneself. Surrender is to give oneself up to the original cause of one’s being … One’s source is within oneself. Give yourself up to it. That means that you should seek the source and merge in it.”
This is an immensely profound statement which not only sweeps away many of the myths that surround the practice of surrender – it also shows an indication that the route to the rediscovery of the Self is the same whether one chooses to label it “surrender” or “self-enquiry”.
If we examine this statement closely it is possible to extract three important conclusions regarding Ramana’s attitude and approach to surrender. Firstly, there is no external deity or manifestation to whom one must surrender; secondly, the source of one’s being is within us; and thirdly, and most importantly, true surrender is to go back to the original cause of one’s being and remain firmly and continually rooted there.
If this is translated into terms of practical advice, then surrender comes down to two words: being and stillness.
In Talks Ramana says:
“Your duty is to be, and not to be this or that, ‘I am that I am’ sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in ‘Be still’.” (Talks, p.333).
The stillness and the being of which Ramana speaks co-exist with each other and reveal themselves in their full radiance whenever interest in one’s thought stream dries up. Thus, for Ramana, the practice of surrender is to find within oneself this feeling of beingness and surrender oneself completely to it. On this level of surrender, practice consists of giving up wrong ideas by refusing to give them attention.
~ from "The Unity of Surrender and Self-Enquiry" by David Godman
Friday, July 25, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The bread is buttered. It is eight in the morning;
Looking down unseeing at the dark green paddy fields
Wave upon wave pushing their way between the red and green hills;
When another wave, the ripple of a name hits me
Between the eyes, singes a path to the heart, vibrating
The tea and the paddy fields are gone.
My blurred eyes are mine no more.
My thoughts have forgotten me.
My tears remember all.
~ Johannes J. De Reede, The Mountain Path, Vol. vii, No. 2, April, 1970
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Surrender means 'surrendering or giving oneself up to another in an especially high degree'. In total surrender, the ego is completely lost. There is no expectation of any reward. There is no seeking of any kind whatsoever. True surrender is the love of God for the sake of love and nothing else, not even for the sake of salvation, says Sri Bhagavan.
Most of us expect God to do us only good once we have surrendered. We are surprised and pained when, despite our surrender, we are faced with problems. When we expect something in return for our surrender, we have not really surrendered. Sri Bhagavan says: "Surrender is not an easy thing. Killing the ego is not an easy thing. It is only when God himself by his Grace draws the mind inwards that complete surrender can be achieved."
When a person has truly surrendered, he has no cares, no desires, no anxieties. He has no will of his own. When Sri Bhagavan left Madurai, he took just the train fare to Tiruvannamalai. When he reached Tiruvannamalai, he threw away the packet of sweets that had been given to him by Muthukrishna Bhagavatar's sister. He was not anxious for the morrow. He tore off from his dhoti a strip for his kaupina and threw away the rest. He did not take an extra kaupina nor did he think of using the remaining cloth as a towel. This is total surrender. He had come to his Father and he· had implicit faith that his bare needs would be looked after. In the early days, there were occasions when Sri Bhagavan was teased and insulted. But he remained unaffected by them as there was no individual to react. The whole life of Bhagavan is a commentary on Surrender.
No human being can be free from problems. Even after we surrender, we shall have problems. But our attitude to problems will change. Sri Bhagavan says: "If you surrender yourself and recognise your individual self as only a tool of the Higher Power, that power will take over your affairs along with the fruits of actions. You are no longer affected by them, and the work will go on unhampered. Whether you recognise the power or not, the scheme of things does not alter. Only there is a change of outlook."
Real surrender is where 'me' is not. The following Christian hymn tells in simple but moving language what real surrender is:
Make me a captive, Lord,
And then I shall be free;
Force me to render up my sword,
And I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life's alarms
When by myself I stand;
Imprison me within thine arms,
And strong shall be my hand.
My heart is weak and poor
Until its master find;
It has no spring of action sure --
It varies with the wind,
It cannot freely move,
Till thou hast wrought its chain;
Enslave it with thy matchless love
And deathless it shall reign.
My power is faint and low
Till I have learned to serve;
It wants the needed fire to glow,
It wants the breeze to nerve;
It cannot drive the world
Until itself be driven;
Its flag can only be unfurled.
When thou shalt breathe from heaven.
My will is not my own
Till thou hast made it Thine;
If it would reach a monarch's throne
It must its crown resign;
It only stands unbent
Amid the clashing strife.
When on thy bosom it has leant
And found in thee its life.
~ Uniqueness of Sri Bhagavan, K. Subrahmanian
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
D.: How will it end?
M.: That which is born must end. The delusion is only concomitant with the ego. It rises up and sinks. But the Reality never rises nor sinks. It remains Eternal. The master who has realised says so; the disciple hears, thinks over the words and realises the Self. There are two ways of putting it. The ever-present Self needs no efforts to be realised, Realisation is already there. Illusion alone is to be removed. Some say the word from the mouth of the Master removes it instantaneously. Others say that meditation, etc., are necessary for realisation. Both are right; only the standpoints differ.
~ Talk 80
Monday, July 7, 2008
The import of the teaching "Know
The Self" is only giving up
The illusive knowledge of the non-self.
For bright like the true Sun shines
Being-Awareness as "I am,
I am" in everyone.
Only by the Lord's grace won
Through self-surrender to His Feet,
And not at all by mental effort,
Is revealed the truth of Being.
So subtle, so incomprehensible, is That which Is.
~ Guru Vachaka Kovai, verses 645 & 648
Saturday, July 5, 2008
~ Ribhu Gita, Ch. 32, V. 24, translated by Prof. N. R. Krishnamurti Aiyer
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
However, only a true devotee, a bhakta, a God can obtain the charan-amrita. But who and what is this devotee? It is nothing else but Consciousness, the sense of Being, the knowledge that 'we are', which has appeared unknowingly and spontaneously in us. The Consciousness is the charan-amrita, the nectar of the Lord's feet.
~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, The Nectar of the Lord's Feet
Monday, June 30, 2008
Thy blessed Feet;
Each petal just a thought. I have no more
To render Thee in homage. It is mete
That it should be like this, for all's already Thine,
There's nothing more is mine.
And as these petals one by one do drop,
Whose perfume-sweetness lasts but for a day,
I will not stop
Asking myself repeatedly this way:
"Who thinks that he now acts?" and "Who am I?"
And so like this I'll try
To plumb the depths of Being, diving deep
Beyond the realms of thought to waking-sleep,
Where naught is and yet All.
For this the lesson, sitting in Thy Hall,
That I have learnt. And yet above
This seeming dry philosophy I find
A deeper lesson in The boundless Love
That spreads beyond all measured realms of mind.
My giving is a gain,
It will not be in vain.
For every thought I one by one discard
Will grow another feather in the wings
That carry me to Freedom. Tho' 'tis hard
What I would not accomplish, 'tis of things
That must be done, it seems, in spite of me;
My will I have surrendered unto Thee.
All that is left to me is just to pray
That many years will be added to the term
That Thou wilt spend below.
For Thou in truth art my sole staff and stay,
Holding to which my purpose is more firm,
And when Thou goest I would also go.
Bound ever to Thy Feet how can I fail?
O Ramana, my Guru, hail, all hail!
~ Sadhu Arunachala (Major A. W. Chadwick)
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I went to the Ramana Ashrama in the early forties when the Second World War was at its peak and our own independence movement was also at its maximum intensity. I am not certain about the date or the month of my visit; it may have been December or January. I remember the season was quite cool. The summit of the holy mountain Arunachala was shrouded in dense mist and clouds. The morning air was crisp and pleasant.
It was in the original small hall, that is remembered by the early devotees with justifiable fondness, that I first saw Sri Bhagavan seated on a raised platform. A cast-iron charcoal brazier was radiating a comfortable warmth, and a pleasing aroma of the incense thrown into it at regular intervals was pervading the entire hall. About thirty people, comprised of men, women and a few young boys were seated on the floor facing Sri Bhagavan. None spoke or even whispered between themselves. What struck me was, no one showed even an inclination to talk. Some were meditating with closed eyes. The silence was definitely not an imposed one.
Sri Bhagavan, his body luminous like burnished gold, was sparsely clad in his usual kaupinam and a small towel across his chest. He appeared to be occasionally dozing off and had to steady his head often. He frequently stretched his palms over the fire and massaged his long fingers. In spite of his apparent dozing, his eyes did not look drowsy. On the contrary, they were extraordinarily bright and alert. He was not looking at anybody in particular, nor were his eyes roaming about the hall in idle curiosity. Although my first impression was not a very uplifting one, I felt I was in the presence of an extremely affable person with a lot of natural grace, at perfect ease and without any pretension whatsoever. I was, however, aware of an effortless peace in the hall.
I saw a white-skinned boy, a foreigner, of about ten years sitting a couple of feet to my left. Next to him was a white man, presumably his father. Further to my left, beyond the central aisle, was a white woman, whom I thought was the boy's mother. I then saw Sri Bhagavan's eyes alight on the boy for a brief minute. I thought it was just a casual look. The boy was all the time looking at Sri Bhagavan with a sort of fixation, as if on the verge of asking a question. But, no! He broke into tears. A cascade of tears came gushing out of his eyes. They were not tears of pain, for his face was radiant with joy. In temples, I have seen adults shedding tears in ecstasy, and had myself experienced that type of joyous outpouring on hearing a beautiful hymn or a moving melody, but I had never seen a ten-year-old boy from a far-off land exhibiting this type of beautiful expression in an extremely quiet and serene atmosphere. I could see that Sri Bhagavan's glance, though only resting on him for a brief moment, had opened in the boy's heart a veritable reservoir of pure joy.
I did not feel a remorse for my lack of receptivity that I ought to have felt. But I felt most fortunate to see a boy not even half my age showing such an alert sensitivity. The flat feeling I had experienced earlier was washed away by the joyous tears of another; I really felt blessed in an indirect way. Direct or indirect, blessing is blessing. Whenever I recall this incident, it creates a feeling of being very near to something truly Divine. Of course, I have had my own share of Sri Bhagavan's grace in my later years. I have also had some ever-fresh visions which I dare not devalue as creations of a fevered imagination for they have strengthened my faith in Sri Bhagavan. Some of them occurred decades after Sri Bhagavan's Mahanirvana. They have been firm confirmations of his continued Presence and reassurances of his immortal words, "They say I am going! Where can I go? I am always here!"
Now, returning to that first day at the Ashrama, I learned that the boy had come along with his parents, both of them Theosophists. The Theosophical Society's world convention is usually held at their international headquarters at Adyar, Madras in December-January. Some of the people from foreign countries choose to visit Sri Ramanasramam at that time. The boy's parents arranged a trip to Tiruvannamalai, but he stoutly refused to go with them, as he was not in tune with conditions in India which can never be adequate when compared with the posh amenities of his native Australia. However, he changed his mind at the last moment and did make the trip. Within an hour of his face-to-face meeting with Sri Bhagavan, his mental barriers were reduced to nothingness. He shed tears for quite some time and later said to his mother, "I am so happy. I don't want to leave his presence. I want to be always with him!" His mother was most upset. She pleaded with Sri Bhagavan, "Swami, please release my son! He is our only child. We will be miserable without him." Sri Bhagavan smiled at her and said, "Release him? I am not keeping him tied up. He is a mature soul. A mere spark has ignited his spiritual fire." So, that casual look was a spark of tremendous power. Turning to the boy, He said, "Go with your parents. I will always be with you." He spoke in Tamil throughout, but the boy understood him fully. He bowed to Sri Bhagavan and reluctantly left with his parents, immensely rich with the newly-found spiritual treasure.
~ Sri C.R. Rajamani (from a talk given at the April 25, 1998 Aradhana program at Arunachala Ashrama in New York City)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Are interwoven close. Don't tear
Asunder those inseparables.
But practise both together holding
In the heart the two as one.
~ Guru Vachaka Kovai (Translated from the Tamil by Prof. K. Swaminathan)
Friday, June 27, 2008
Past and future are both only thoughts that occur in the present, as is the passing of time itself, so any thought about any moment or period of time other than the precise present moment will distract our attention away from our own ever-present self-conscious being, ‘I am’. Therefore ignoring all thought of the past or future, we should concentrate only on being uninterruptedly — unforgettingly or pramada-lessly — self-attentive now, at this present moment. If we diligently take care to be undistractedly self-attentive now, our love to be clearly self-conscious at this present moment will spill over into each coming present moment, and thus due to our perseverant effort to be self-attentive at each present moment, the strength, depth, clarity and persistence of our self-attentiveness will steadily and surely increase.
The experience of absolutely clear self-knowledge will dawn in just a single moment — that is, a single moment of completely uninterrupted self-attentiveness — and that single moment is available to us at each and every moment. Therefore our aim at any moment should not be to be uninterruptedly self-attentive for a certain period of time, or even for all time to come, but should only be to be uninterruptedly self-attentive — wholly and exclusively self-conscious — now, at this very moment.
Now there is no other moment that matters. This present moment is the only moment that is now available for us to experience ourself as we really are. Therefore forgetting every other moment, let us just be wholly and uninterruptedly self-attentive now. That is, let us forget about any pramada that might interrupt our self-attentiveness at some other moment, and instead just be vigilant at this very moment to concentrate our entire attention on our present self-consciousness, thereby preventing it from being interrupted now by even the least momentary pramada or self-negligence.
Only if we thus cultivate the love and habit to be vigilantly self-attentive at each given present moment, thereby excluding any thought of what might happen at some other moment, will our self-attentiveness eventually blossom into the true experience of perpetually uninterrupted — absolutely pramada-free — clear self-consciousness, which is eternally our own real nature, ‘I am’.
~ Michael James
Thursday, June 26, 2008
is the easiest thing, since one already is the Self, and
handed it to Bhagavan, asking him to write a poem on the
subject. Bhagavan responded with the following poem:
Lo, very easy is Self-Knowledge,
Lo, very easy indeed.
Even for the most infirm
So real is the Self
That compared with it the amlak
In one's hand appears a mere illusion.
True, strong, fresh for ever stands
The Self. From this in truth spring forth
The phantom body and phantom world.
When this delusion is destroyed
And not a speck remains,
The Sun of Self shines bright and real
In the vast Heart-expanse.
Darkness dies, afflictions end,
And bliss wells up.
The thought `I am the body' is the thread
On which are strung together various thoughts.
Questing within, enquiring `Who am I?
And whence this thought?' all other thoughts
Vanish. And as 'I', 'I' within the Heart-cave
The Self shines of its own accord.
Such Self-awareness is the only Heaven,
This stillness, this abode of bliss.
Of what avail is knowing things
Other than the Self? And the Self being known,
What other thing is there to know?
That one light that shines as many selves,
Seeing this Self within
As Awareness' lightning flash;
The play of Grace; the ego's death;
The blossoming of bliss.
For loosening karma's bonds and ending births,
This path is easier than all other paths.
Abide in stillness, without any stir
Of tongue, mind, body. And behold
The effulgence of the Self within;
The experience of Eternity; absence
Of all fear; the ocean vast of Bliss.
Annamalai the Self, the Eye
Behind the eye of mind which sees
The eye and all the other senses
Which know the sky and other elements,
The Being which contains, reveals, perceives
The inner sky that shines within the Heart.
When the mind free of thought turns inward,
Annamalai appears as my own Self.
True, Grace is needed; Love is added.
Bliss wells up.
(Translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan)
~ from Collected Works
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
She stayed for a month and went away a couple of days ago. One evening, after Veda Parayana, she approached Bhagavan and said, “Sometime back Bhagavan gave me darshan in my dream and gave me upadesa. After that, I realised my Self, but it is not steady. What should I do?”
Bhagavan: (amused) “Where has it gone without being steady? Who is it that is not steady?”
Zamindarini: “That (realisation) is not steady.”
Bhagavan: “Where has it gone without being steady.”
Zamindarini: “That experience which I had does not remain steady because of bodily ailment and family worries.”
Bhagavan: “I see. Say so. Those that come, come. Those that go, go. We remain as we are.”
Zamindarini: “You must bestow on me the strength to remain as I am.”
Bhagavan: “You have realised the Self, have you not? If that is so, all the others disappear of their own accord.”
Zamindarini: “But they have not disappeared.”
Bhagavan (smiling): “I see. They will disappear. Vasanas have for a long time built their nests within. If we realise that they are there, they will disappear gradually.”
Zamindarini: “Bhagavan must bestow on me the strength to make them disappear.”
Bhagavan: “We will see.”
The next day about the same time she stood humbly in the presence of Bhagavan and said, “Bhagavan, it is not possible for a married woman to stay on in the presence of
the Guru for any length of time, can she?”
Bhagavan: “The Guru is where one is.”
Zamindarini: (still unconvinced) “Should one look upon the whole world as Brahman or should one look upon one’s own Self as the most important?”
Bhagavan: “We exist. And the world is Brahman itself. What then is there to look upon as Brahman?”
She was taken aback and stood still. Whereupon Bhagavan looked at her compassionately and explained further: “As you know we undoubtedly exist. The world also exists as Brahman. That being so, what is there that one could see as Brahman? We should make our vision as the all-pervading Brahman. Ancients say, ‘Drishtim jnanamayim kritva pasyeth brahmamayam jagat’. The world is as we see it. If we see it as material, it is material. If we see it as Brahman, it is Brahman. That is why we must change our outlook. Can you see the picture in a film without the screen? If we remain as we are, everything adjusts itself to that attitude.”
Overjoyed at this and fully satisfied, she came out and sat on the step on the verandah which is opposite to Bhagavan’s couch. Bhagavan was sitting on the couch in his characteristic pose, silent as usual and with a smile on his face. Looking at the radiant face of Bhagavan, she said involuntarily, “Ah! How beautiful Bhagavan is!”
A devotee who heard the exclamation approached Bhagavan and said, “She is saying how beautiful Bhagavan is.”
With a slight nod of his head Bhagavan said, “Sivam Sundaram”. See how pregnant with meaning that expression is?
~ Letters from Sri Ramanasramam (20th September, 1949)
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sri Bhagavan: Who is it that raises the question?
D.: I - the individual.
M.: Are you apart from God that you ask this question?
So long as you consider yourself the body you see the world as external. The imperfections appear to you. God is perfection. His work also is perfection. But you see it as imperfection because of your wrong identification.
D.: Why did the Self manifest as this miserable world?
M.: In order that you might seek it. Your eyes cannot see themselves. Place a mirror before them and they see themselves. Similarly with the creation. "See yourself first and then see the whole world as the Self."
D.: So it amounts to this - that I should always look within.
D.: Should I not see the world at all?
M.: You are not instructed to shut your eyes from the world. You are only to "see yourself first and then see the whole world as the Self". If you consider yourself as the body the world appears to be external. If you are the Self the world appears as Brahman.
~ Talk 272, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Monday, June 23, 2008
God's very nature, says Sri Bhagavan, is Grace and this can be experienced at all times only when a person surrenders. A person who surrenders accepts everything as His will. He does not consider anything as good or bad, success or failure. After surrender, there is no individual will. In this state, which is the result of Grace, one feels Grace all the time.
"Grace manifests itself when the quest for the Self begins. The quest itself is the result of Grace. There is not a single moment when Grace is not operating in us. Grace is beyond time and space. Grace is always there. It is the beginning, middle and end. Grace is the Self," says Sri Bhagavan.
~ K. Subrahmanian, The Uniqueness of Sri Bhagavan
Sunday, June 22, 2008
~ Arunachala's Ramana, Volume I
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Soon I settled at Tiruvannamalai and thus began my daily visits to Bhagavan, sometimes staying for the night with him. One day Bhagavan was sitting all alone in front of Virupaksha cave. A strange emotion got hold of me and I asked him in English, "My Lord, Jesus and other great souls have come down to earth to save sinners like me. Is there hope for me"? Bhagavan seemed moved by my cry of distress. He came closer and said in a quiet voice, "Yes, there is hope, there is hope."
When I returned home a song welled up in my mind and I wrote it down. Since then I wrote songs by Bhagavan's grace. When I brought my first song to Bhagavan and recited it before him, he gave me some instructions in prosody and illustrated them with examples from great Telugu poets. Since them I wrote songs and poems without much thought or effort all the years until Bhagavan's samadhi. Then the spring dried up, for it was not a gift I brought with me. It was all His grace.
~ M. V. Ramaswami Iyer, Ramana Smriti
Friday, June 20, 2008
~ Arunachala Pancharatna, verse 5
Thursday, June 19, 2008
As long as vishaya-vasanas exist in [our] mind, so long nanar ennum vicharanai [the investigation ‘who am I?’] is necessary. As and when thoughts arise, then and there it is necessary [for us] to annihilate them all by vicharanai [investigation, that is, self-investigation or keen and vigilant self-attentiveness] in the very place from which they arise. ...
Until we achieve by our persistent practice of atma-vicharanai — self-investigation, self-scrutiny or self-attentiveness — sufficient maturity to be willing and able to surrender our mind entirely in the absolute clarity of pure self-consciousness, we will continue to be distracted by our thoughts, which we form in our mind due to the driving force of our own vishaya-vasanas, our desires to think of and experience things that appear to be other than ourself. Therefore the struggle between our svatma-bhakti — our love just to be and to know only our own real self — and our vasanas or outward-going desires will continue in us until our mind is completely destroyed by the clear light of true self-knowledge.
Therefore, though we should always aim to maintain an unbroken continuity of self-attentiveness or self-remembrance, and thereby to sink deep into our own self-conscious being, ‘I am’, in practice our attempts to do so will often fail, and we will therefore repeatedly succumb to the powerful attraction of our desires and consequent thoughts. However, we should not be disheartened by our repeated failure to be constantly self-attentive, but should just calmly persevere in our efforts to restore our self-attentiveness whenever we find that we have lost our hold on it.
This constant struggle between self-attentiveness and pramada — self-negligence or self-forgetfulness — is the nature of true sadhana or spiritual practice, so calm, patient and steady perseverance is required to win this battle. However many times and however frequently we may fall from our natural state of serene self-conscious being, we should rise again and try our best to stand firm in it.
In this long inner warfare we are never alone, because the grace of our sadguru, Sri Ramana, is always shining peacefully in our heart as ‘I am’, giving us all the subtle help and support that we need in our earnest efforts to return to his real presence by sinking into the innermost depth of our own clearly self-conscious being, which is his own true form. As we strive to turn wholly selfwards, the powerful attraction of his grace is always drawing us inwards, waiting to consume us entirely whenever we are ready to yield ourself completely to him.
~ Michael James, happinessofbeing.blogspot.com
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Undoubtedly the same peace is to be had at Tiruvannamalai as in the old days when Bhagavan's physical body was still with us. Some people declare that they find it is even stronger now than formerly, they had been distracted by his form, and now that that distraction is no longer there they enjoy, undisturbed, the bliss of his amazing aura. Did he not himself say during those last sad days: "You say I am going to die. Die! I shall be more alive than ever". And so it is.
But there are still a number who declare that he is dead, that there is no use coming to the Ashram and sitting besides an empty tomb. "No doubt there are psychic vibrations", they admit reluctantly, "but those you can find in any holy place. No, it is no use remaining there, the initial impetus having been given you, you must go off in search of a living guru. Living guru, indeed! Is he not now and ever most living?
But let us examine their argument. It is something like this. Bhagavan having left his body has become absorbed in the Infinite. (You don't mean to pretend that he is still bound to a corpse, do you?) So, except for certain sentimental attachments there is no use remaining in the Ashram or even visiting it. If you do go you may feel certain vibrations, the back-wash, so to speak, of the past, but these are useless for Sadhana, or useful only as a preliminary step which will lead you on to a "living guru". But for anybody with any pretense to advancement, it is useless. There's an end of it.
But like so many plausible arguments it is entirely false, for even these people have admitted Bhagavan to be a Jivan-Mukta, one who is already and finally released from ego. And how often did he not say: "You think I am the body, this corpse that I have to bear about. That is where you are wrong. I am universal" You see, he was "universal", even before he apparently left the body.
The whole mistake simply lies, in the interpretation they put on the word Jivan-Mukta; or in what they think a Jnani really is and how he functions. When it is found that a Jivan-Mukta is already absorbed in the Infinite and that, for him, the apparent change he undergoes is no change at all, there should be no more misapprehension. There is no further step for a Jnani to take, he lost all sense of doership or association with a particular body when he finally knew himself to be a Jnani. The physical death is only just a happening in the myriad strange happenings in Maya. He was in no way limited to a body while it was functioning. It was there, one might almost say, for us. We needed something that we could see, somebody who could speak to us. Now we must get along without the comfort of the physical presence, but it does not mean that Bhagavan has gone anywhere. Indeed, as he said himself: "Where could I go? I am always here".
While he was in the body his body acted as a visible centre for concentration, as a point to focus at, something tangible, which drew the disciples to it. Yet he never was the body even then, he was and knew he was the eternal Atman alone. So now what is more appropriate than that the place in which he lived so long and which is so permeated with his presence should now serve as this centre for concentration? But to think for one moment that Bhagavan Ramana has dispersed, just blown away in thin air, is stupidity. How could anybody who knew him talk like this? "He has become absorbed in the Infinite, become in fact the Infinite," would reply, "for now he is everywhere, not just at a point, in Madras". But as I said this is no argument. He was always the and denied his being in the body. The situation is exactly the same, except that now we longer have his embodied form before us. But there is still his Ashram and the Samadhi where that sacred body is enshrined.
Theoretically, I suppose, there never any need to seek him in Tiruvannamalai, even when he was functioning through a body, except for the well-known rule that a Guru necessary. Yet, we felt the need, and flocking there knew the benefit. Today we can still do the same.
But in the old days he spoke, gave verbal instructions. Now that can happen no more. But to how few did he actually ever speak? How many thousands just came with their minds and sat before him silently and went away without a word? How many came with their minds bursting with questions and in his presence found all the questions self-answered? All this is still possible.
Still, too, can we sit in front of the Samadhi and receive the most potent vibrations, get answers to our unasked questions, comfort and encouragement when needed.
To what after all did all his spoken instructions amount? "There is only one Self. You are that".
Amplifying slightly it becomes: there is nothing to do, nothing to seek. There is only a false identification with limitation to discard that is done by concentration on the Eternal Witness, the One behind all phenomena. Know who you are and there is no more to know. You cannot be the eternally changing body, you witness that; you cannot the senses that observe and contact, you use them; you cannot be the mind which reasons, that is only a tool; you cannot even be the named individual, because that has its changes of childhood, youth and old age, it is born and it dies, it ceases in deep sleep, it takes entirely new forms and names in various births, you are a witness of that too. But we know, each one of us, that there is a permanent "I" behind all these fun functions and changes. If we would only concentrate on that instead of on the apparent world, we should have no more worries or problems.
Any further additions to these teachings were purely given as a sop to the ever inquisitive mind which wants to know, to probe into the future, but is never satisfied, for as soon as one doubt is cleared there is another waiting to pop up and take its place. Moreover, how is it ever possible to clear doubts intellectually? For the moment we may be satisfied, then we forget the arguments, or remember another on our side of the question which we forgot to pose. Bhagavan knowing this spoke little. "Silence is best!" he would say. And here once more are we led back to the Ashram where the same silence can be found, the same presence, the same inspiration, and the same all-absorbing peace.
~ Sadhu Arunachala (Major Chadwick), The Mountain Path, Vol. 19, No. IV, October 1982
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
There has never been a beauty like yours.
Your face, your eyes, your presence.
We cannot decide which we love most,
your gracefulness or your generosity.
I came with many knots in my heart,
like the magician's rope.
You undid them all at once.
I see now the splendor of the student
and that of the teacher's art.
Love and this body sit inside your presence,
one demolished, the other drunk.
We smile. We weep, tree limbs
turning sere, then light green.
Any power that comes through us is you.
Any wish. What does a rock know of April?
It is better to ask the flowery grass,
the jasmine, and the redbud branch.
~ Rumi: Bridge to the Soul
Monday, June 16, 2008
Some, however, have wondered whether it is legitimate to use physical supports of Grace on such a direct and purely spiritual path as that enjoined by Bhagavan. It was with some such doubt that an English devotee who has never yet been able to come to Tiruvannamalai wrote to me asking for some object, such as a small stone, from near the tomb but felt that his request might be inappropriate. It. was quite appropriate. Although he taught the purely direct and spiritual path of vichara, Bhagavan never discouraged any from observing the rites of their religion or from using any physical supports so long as they were helpful. The path he taught was universal; it included devotion and disinterested activity as well as knowledge. Indeed his devotional hymns to Arunachala are a constant support to the devotees. His very coming there was a recognition of the physical manifestation of Grace, since Arunachala has been through the ages the supreme centre of silent initiation, of Siva manifested as Dakshinamurthy, teaching in silence. No one could be more insistent on its actual sanctity. He said: "Mount Kailas is the abode of Siva but Arunachala is Siva Himself." He saw the sacred hill as the form assumed by pure Spirit for the support and guidance of men. Now that the physical body of Bhagavan -- the most precious of all physical supports of Grace -- has been withdrawn from us, the Hill emits power and Grace for his devotees even more than before.
When I was asked for some token from the hill I was able, fortunately, to quote the approval of Bhagavan in a similar case. Once when he was walking on the hill he said to Dr. T. N. Krishnaswami who was with him: "Some devotee from a far-off land has asked for a stone to be taken from the most holy part of the hill and sent to him. He thinks that some part of the hill alone is holy. he does not know that the whole hill is Arunachala; he does not know that Arunachala Himself is the hill." And picking up a small stone, he added; "I sent him a stone like this."
Bhagavan would sometimes give a devotee some object as a vehicle of Grace, but very seldom, as he had normally nothing to give. In his youthful years he would sometimes cut a stick from the hill, fashion it into a staff for walking and give it to somebody. Sometimes also he would touch an object that was shown to him and give it back. When I left for Madras and showed him the lifesize portrait of him that I was taking with me he held it in his hands before giving it back and said: "He is taking Swami with him!"
It may not be inappropriate to end this article with the strange story of how I received a shoe-horn from him. We were sitting outside the hall. Bhagavan was reclining on his usual couch. There was a sudden clatter and we saw that a metal shoe-horn had fallen to the ground near the couch. How it came to fall there no one could say - there was no breeze and no monkeys or squirrels were playing about. The attendant gave it to Bhagavan who examined it and began demonstrating its use as a spoon. I was sitting in the front row and explained its use as a shoehorn. Bhagavan who did not like anything to be wasted asked me whether I would like it. And so I received a gift from him who had nothing to give; from the Divine Giver who had all to give!
~ Arthur Osborne, The Mountain Path
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
This is the nectar of faith,
So drink and be happy!
Know you are one,
With the fire of this conviction,
Burn down the forest of ignorance.
Free yourself from sorrow,
And be happy.
For you are joy, unbounded joy.
You are awareness itself.
~ The Ashtavakra Gita (translation by Thomas Byrom)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks
Monday, June 9, 2008
~ Robert Adams, Silence of the Heart
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Do not imprison the true form of the Guru within a cage but seek inwardly and realise it to be the formless, omnipresent expanse of consciousness.
~ Padamalai, verses 1 & 2 from the chapter The Guru
Saturday, June 7, 2008
~ Robert Adams, Silence of the Heart
Thursday, June 5, 2008
~ from Krishna Bikshu's account in Unforgettable Years, translated and edited by A. R. Natarajan
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
On the day of the surgery, I was lying down on the operating table, when the doctor came to administer anesthesia… He asked me to count one-two-three etc to calm the mind as it slipped into unconsciousness. But instead of doing that, I started saying ‘Ramana! Ramana! Ramana!’ Quite involuntarily. It is not that I wanted to pray to him. It just happened that I spoke his name … And then I had a ’special’ experience… I was walking, my hands cupped in front of me, seeking Ramana, taking his name, walking towards him… And I slipped into unconsciousness…
The operation was completed. And as I emerged from unconsciousness, to the utter surprise of all people around me, I woke up with a feeling of great joy. This joy lasted for a long while after the surgery….
My mother asked me about it… And I told her the reason.
Sometime during the surgery, I had a vivid experience. In that experience, I was a small baby. And Bhagavan was holding me. Head to toe, I fitted within the cup of his two hands. And he was looking at me with great love…It was exhilarating… It was that joy that I woke up with…”
~ Pankajamma, describing her experiences with Bhagavan Ramana to gkamesh. Please see this or this.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
~ Papaji, The Fire of Freedom, Edited by David Godman
Monday, June 2, 2008
Karaikal Ammaiyar was a great devotee of Lord Siva and a poetess, many of whose verses are still preserved. She was the wife of a rich merchant of Karaikal, whose name was Paramadattan (meaning ‘one endowed with heavenly gifts’). Her own name was Punithavathiyar (meaning ‘the pure one’). She was very devout, and especially eager to entertain all devotees of Lord Siva that came to her door. One day her husband received from some persons who had come to him on business a present of two mangoes of a very superior variety which he sent home to his wife. Soon afterwards, a holy devotee came to her house as a mendicant. Since she had no cooked food ready to offer him except some boiled rice, she gave him one of the aforesaid mangoes along with the rice.
At noon her husband returned and after having his meal ate the remaining mango. It pleased him so much that he said to his wife, “There were two, bring me the other.” She went away in dismay, but remembering that the Lord to whose servant she had given the fruit, never deserts those who serve Him, she offered a mental prayer, and straightaway found a mango in her hand, which she took to her husband. Being a divine gift, it was of incomparable sweetness, so he asked her, “Where did you obtain this?”
She hesitated at first to reveal the wonder that had taken place on her behalf, but thinking that she ought to hide nothing from her husband, she told him everything. He gave no credence to her words, but roughly replied, “If that is so, get me another like it.” She went away and said in her heart to God, “If You do not give me one more fruit, my word will have no weight!” Immediately she found another fruit in her hand. She brought this fruit to her husband but as soon as he took it, it disappeared. Wondering at this strange happening, he concluded that his wife must be a divine being and therefore decided that he should no longer live with her. However, he revealed this decision to no one.
One day he quietly hired a ship on which he placed a great deal of his wealth, and then on an auspicious day, worshipped the god of the sea. With sailors and a skilful captain, he set sail for another country where, by trading his merchandise he accumulated a fortune. After some time he returned and came to another city in the Pandiyan kingdom, where he married a merchant’s daughter and lived in great luxury. A daughter was born to him, whom he named Punithavathi after his first wife, with whom he had feared to remain but for whom he retained great reverence.
After a while, his return and prosperity became known to his friends in Karaikal, who resolved to compel him to receive again his first wife, their kinswoman, whom he had deserted. They accordingly proceeded to his new residence, carrying with them in a litter his saintly spouse, Karaikal Ammaiyar. When he heard that she had arrived and was halting in a grove outside the town, he was seized with great awe. He proceeded with his second wife and daughter to where, she was camping – surrounded by her relatives. He prostrated before her with profoundest reverence, saying, “Your slave is happy here and prosperous through your blessings. To my daughter I have given your sacred name, and I constantly adore you as my tutelary goddess!” Poor Punithavathiyar was utterly confounded by this salutation and worship, and so took refuge among her relatives, who all asked with wonder, “Why is this madman worshipping his own wife?” To this Paramadattan replied, “I myself saw her work a miracle, so I know that she is no daughter of the human race, but a divine being. Therefore I have separated myself from her, and I worship her as my tutelary deity and have dedicated my daughter to her”. Hearing this, Punithavathiyar pondered over it and prayed within herself to Siva, the Supreme Lord, saying, “O Lord, this is my husband’s belief. So take away from me the beauty that I have till now cherished only for his sake. Remove from me this burden of flesh, and give to me the form and features of those who always attend on Thee, and praise Thee.”
Immediately, by the grace of God, her flesh dried up and she became a skeleton, becoming one of Siva’s hosts whom the earth and the heaven hold in reverence. Then the gods sent down a rain of flowers, heavenly minstrels resounded, and her relatives paid obeisance to her and departed in awe. Having thus assumed the form of a skeleton, she lived in the wild jungle of Alankadu, and through the inspiration of God she sang several sacred poems, which are sung even to this day. After some time there came upon her an irresistible desire to see the sacred Mount Kailas, so with great speed she travelled northwards till she arrived at the foot of the Mountain. Considering that it was not right to tread on the Holy Mountain by foot, she began to climb it with her feet in the air and with only her head touching the ground.
The goddess Uma, Siva’s consort, saw her ascending in this manner and said to Her Lord, “Who is this that approaches in this strange fashion, a gaunt skeleton sustained only by the power of love?” Lord Siva replied, “She is Karaikal Ammaiyar, and she has obtained this form by her prayers.” When She drew near, He addressed her with words of love, calling her ‘Amma’ (Mother), a name which she bears ever since. As soon as she heard the word she fell at His feet and exclaimed, “Father!” Siva then said to her, “What boon do you wish to ask from me?” She replied, “O Lord, grant undying love and infinite blessedness to me, Your slave. I would be glad never to be born on earth again, but If I must be so born, grant me at least that I may never, in any form or at any time forget You, my Lord; and when You perform Your sacred mystic dance, may I stand in rapture at Your feet and sing Your praise”.
The Lord replied, “In Alankadu you shall see my dance, and with rapture you shall sing.” Then the holy Karaikal Ammaiyar returned to Alankadu, still covering the distance on her head, and there she beheld the Lord’s sacred dance, and sang her renowned lyrics in His praise.
Karaikal Ammaiyar’s devotional hymns form sixth part of Thirumurai.
~ Spiritual Stories As Told by Sri Ramana Maharshi
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
You it was who by your grace claimed me as your own. What would be my fate if now, you would not reveal yourself to me and I, still yearning for you, should perish in anguish in the darkness of this world? Can the lotus blossom unless it sees the sun? And you are the sun of suns. Your grace abounding swells and as a river overflows, O Love whose form is mighty Aruna Hill.
Lord, I had no idea of thinking of you at all. And yet you drew me with your cord of grace and stood as if resolved to kill me. Then what fault did I, poor I, commit that you should stop midway, your task unfinished? What more is needed? Why do you thus torture me, leaving me half-dead? O Arunachala, fulfill your plan and live for ever, You alone.
Friday, May 30, 2008
This mood, however, is not for keeps, nor even 'till death do us part'. Imperceptibly, bodily hunger, the demands of flesh, stage a virulent come back to the point of negating the joy of being Ramana's. It is certain that Ramana will not leave anyone by the roadside and that His succour would be there to strengthen and sustain. But in the intermediate stage when one is not steadfast in love for Ramana, many ego-traps of attachments seem to be there ready to lure one away. For, when the Sad-guru's tiger-like fangs begin to chew one's ego, the job is never done at one stroke. It is often left incomplete to be finished at a time which He alone knows to be the best. In this half-way house when one is tossed between the sensate and the spiritual, when one neither His nor the world's, one is inclined to pray sometimes 'Please stop being a magnet. Do not take me at all or take all.' It appears as if Ramana is aloof, withdrawn, unconcerned. Not that He is really, but the dryness, the slipping away makes one forlorn.
Sometimes then one cries out in 'where have you gone my God, forsaking me? One yearns and prays 'put out this fire, cool ocean of boundless grace, put out the fire of separation'. One finds 'Arunachala Padigam' replete with pleading to the Sad-guru not to 'stop mid-way and leave the task unfinished.
~ A. R. Natarajan, The Tiger's Prey, The Mountain Path
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Ramana Maharshi: Through deep enquiry and confident meditation.
Hurst [Paul Brunton]: Many people do meditate in the West but show no signs of progress.
Maharshi: How do you know that they don't make progress? Spiritual progress is not easily discernible.
Hurst: A few years ago I got some glimpses of the Bliss but in the years that followed I lost it again. Then last year I again got it. Why is that?
Maharshi: You lost it because your meditation had not become natural (sahaja). When you become habitually inturned the enjoyment of spiritual beatitude becomes a normal experience.
Hurst: Might it be due to the lack of a Guru?
Maharshi: Yes, but the Guru is within; that Guru who is within is identical with your Self.
Hurst: What is the way to God-realization?
Maharshi: Vichara, asking yourself the 'Who am I?' enquiry into the nature of your Self.
~ The Mountain Path
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The final chapter in their relationship began in 1916 when mother decided to place herself fully in the hands of her ascetic son. She came to Virupaksha cave and refused to budge. She just had to be in his physical proximity. Ramana too knew that the time had come for him to take over. Hence his consent for her staying with him over-ruling the ignorant protests of the inmates. In 1896, she had come to claim him as her son. Whereas now, she had come to surrender herself to him as her guru and entrust herself physically and spiritually to his custody. From then on, it was no longer a relationship between mother and son. It was that of a Sadguru and his disciple. The love showered by Ramana on all women made it clear to her that in his state, all women were his mothers and that there could be no special exception to this. Her orthodoxy got eroded, thanks to the daily lessons of Ramana's compassion which knew no distinctions. Azhagammal gradually evolved from being Ramana's mother into being the mother of the Ramana family to begin with. Later she blossomed as the universal mother. The master's devotees and the visitors were her children to be fed and cared for. Every needy person was her ward. When requested by her daughter Alamelu to come to her home for a house-warming function, she firmly said that her place was at Ramana's feet and that she did not care if Ramana threw her dead body into the bushes. She also told Ramana that she wanted to die in his arms. From these remarks it is clear that her faith in him was unqualified and complete. She was ready and could therefore profit fully from Ramana's spiritual ministration.
On the historic day, May 19, 1922, when she lay dying, facing death, Ramana took over the solemn assignment of liberating her from the travail of births. With his left hand placed on her head and the right hand on her heart, he sat for full twelve hours when mother was battling with her tendencies. Literally there was a fast forward of the experiences of her future life which she would have had to go through. The whole gamut was condensed into a few hours. She fought bravely, working out her karma. Ramana had in him the power to destroy the balance of karma. But he let mother battle it out for effort is necessary and inescapable till the last breath till one learns to hand over the baton to the Sadguru. This would serve as an example for all seekers who cannot afford to take it easy till effort is no longer possible. Thanks to the omnipotent power and grace of Ramana her life-force was absorbed in the Heart. She became a jivanmukta. Ramana had repaid his debt, and in what a way! He had rendered a service to the mother which is unparalleled in spiritual history!
~ A. R. Natarajan, The Mountain Path, Vol. 27, Nos. 1 & 2, May - June 1990
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
~ Michael James, The Mountain Path, Vol. 25, No. 1, January 1988
Monday, May 26, 2008
~ Day by Day with Bhagavan
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Some points stand out, such as Ramana's remarks:
"Help yourself, you will help the world";
"No master ever cared a rap for occult powers for he has no need for them in his daily life";
"From now onwards let your whole thought in meditation be not on the act of seeing nor on what you see, but immovably on That which sees";
"The Master cannot help being perpetually in the state of Being. He can use the mind, body and intellect without falling back into the delusion of separate consciousness";
"God is everything and everything is God";
"How can you best worship God? Why, by not trying to worship Him but by giving up your whole self to Him";
"You say 'I', 'I want to know'. Tell me who is that 'I'. Know first that 'I' and then you will know everything".
The teaching is always clear and precise, for Humphreys was ripe and ready to receive it.
We also owe to Humphreys some very beautiful descriptions of Ramana in such choice expressions: "For half an hour I looked him in the eyes, which never changed their expression of deep contemplation ... I could only feel that his body was not the man. He was merely a sitting, motionless corpse from which God was radiating terrifically ... You can imagine nothing more beautiful than his smile."
~ A. R. Natarajan, "F. H. Humphreys -- The First Western Seeker," The Mountain Path, Volume 29, Nos 3 & 4, December 1992
Saturday, May 24, 2008
58. Since a life of great peace exists deep within the ocean of our heart we should be completely indifferent towards the many tendencies (vasanas) which are tossing like heavy waves on the surface of that ocean, and with intense desirelessness (vairagya) we should dive deep into Self, the primal consciousness of our existence.
~ Sri Sadhu Om's Sadhanai Saram, translated by Sadhu Om and Michael James
Friday, May 23, 2008
~ Sri Sadhu Om, Sadhanai Saram, verse 56
Thursday, May 22, 2008
and round Sri Bhagavan's hall and finally go near Bhagavan's
seat and loudly sing songs composed extempore by her. Her
spontaneous compositions used to pour forth effortlessly from
her extremely devoted heart. She was not a learned lady, there
night be some grammatical mistakes and errors in rhyme,
rhythm, etc. She used to thus sing her prayers daily for obtaining
the grace of Bhagavan.
One day Sri Bhagavan smilingly remarked that her songs
seemed to be much better than those of her son. Her son was a
scholar and from an ordinary point of view, the scholar's
compositions ought to be superior but for Bhagavan those arising
from the bottom of the heart with great devotion and emotion
are more pleasing. Are not the standards of judgement different?
~ The Silent Power
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Apt for every kind of kinship.
Yes, apt and more than apt.
He is the womb from which are born
All moving things and things unmoving.
Dear child He is and cherished wealth,
Rich learning,wisdom ripe;
Blessed by the mouths that daily chant
Vedic hymns to mighty Rudra,
He dwells in the mind's eye
And the bright unbroken sky,
The light of lights that shines within
The deep heart's core;
All in One and One in all,
True seer in whom all Truth is seen,
Merciful, liberal giver of grace
Miraculously strong to save.
Yes, He is Mother and Father too.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Bhagavan replied: 'The real feet of Bhagavan exist only in the heart of the devotee. To hold onto these feet incessantly is true happiness. You will be disappointed if you hold onto my physical feet because one day this physical body will disappear. The greatest worship is worshipping the Guru's feet that are within oneself.
~ Living By The Words of Bhagavan, edited by David Godman
Monday, May 19, 2008
~ Arunachala's Ramana -- Boundless Ocean of Grace, Volume IV, p 120
Sunday, May 18, 2008
After that there was no need for me to think of anything else. Bhagavan was God for me.
Everything I did was done with care and dedication. For instance, I used to devote considerable time to wash the only two pieces of cloth Bhagavan had (loin cloth and a small towel), rinsing them many times in water, changing the water every time. I wanted the clothes to be spotlessly clean.
~ account by Vaikuntavasar in Arunachala's Ramana -- Boundless Ocean of Grace
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
energy. All else is the trite talk of people who dislike the effort
of sadhana which takes them to the Self. This talk is based on
their dense ignorance of the Self. Only by persistent practice
and experience of sadhana, can one arrive at the truth that all
concepts of souls, world, and the cause thereof are just evanescent
shadows on the screen of Siva-Self-Brahman. (Ch.24, v.31)
~ The Essence of Ribhu Gita, translated by Prof. N. R. Krishnmoorthi Aiyer
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The great remedy for the long-lasting disease of samsara is the enquiry, 'Who am I?, to whom does this samsara belong?,' which entirely cures it.
Not a day should be spent in a place which does not possess the tree of a wise knower of Truth with its good fruit and cool shade.
~ Yoga Vasistha Sara, Verses 4, 5, 6
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
"In the thirties I had darshan of Bhagavan, when I visited Him along with my mother. After that I could not stay at home any longer. Without informing my parents I ran away and arrived at the Ashram. I was very young then. I prostrated to Bhagavan and asked:
'Bhagavan! Give me upadesam!' Bhagavan gave a beautiful smile and said: 'Have you brought a big vessel to take the upadesam with you?' He stretched both His hands wide open to symbolise a big vessel! I was standing still. Then for a full fifteen minutes Bhagavan looked at me with intense compassion and grace. I experienced wave after wave of bliss; I was thrilled! This experience I never had in my life, either before or after. Summoning all my courage, I again asked Him: 'Swami! May I stay here, for good?' Bhagavan replied, 'I do not ask anyone to come here, neither stay here nor go out. Thiangs happen according to one's praptam (destiny).' I did not understand then what it all meant; now I know that it was that look of Grace which made me stick to Him and stay at His lotus feet till today.
Bhagavan is God. He is Compassion Suprme. His reply would appear as if He did not take up the responsibility of my stay here. But see, without His Grace could I have stayed here for the rest of my life till today, all alone?"
When I asked her: "If Bhagavan did not recommend your stay at the Ashram, what did you do?" She replied, "What do you mean? Bhagavan's one look was enough. The Grace started working. Immediately, Echamma took me to her house and I began living there. Then I moved to a cottage in front of the Ashram. To stay near Bhagavan, to look at His bliss-filled face and to listen to His exquisitely sweet voice was all I wanted and that I got in abundance!" I saw in her eyes the light of life's fulfillment.
~ V. Ganesan, The Mountain Path, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 1985
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Guru is the Self.
D.: How does it lead to realisation?
M.: Isvaro gururatmeti … (God is the same as Guru and Self …). A person begins with dissatisfaction. Not content with the world he seeks satisfaction of desires by prayers to God; his mind is purified; he longs to know God more than to satisfy his carnal desires. Then God's Grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by his teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inward; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self. The Guru is both exterior and interior. From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps the mind to achieve quietness. That is Grace. Hence there is no difference between God, Guru and Self.
~ Talk 198
Sunday, May 11, 2008
~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Five Stanzas to Sri Arunachala, verse 3
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Annamalai Swami: You can be quiet within and be tough on the outside, if that is the role you have to play in the world.
There is a story about a snake that lived under a bush by the side of the street. Whenever people passed by the bush, the snake made a lot of noise and tried to bite them. It gave lots of trouble to anyone who came near.
One day a wandering sadhu passed the bush and the snake, as usual, put on an aggressive show of behavior.
The sadhu, who could communicate with animals, said, 'Keep quiet and don't bite people. You don't have to trouble the people who walk past.'
The snake heeded the advice and from that day on its behavior completely changed. It sat quietly under its bush and never troubled any of the people who walked past.
Within a few days the local people realised that the snake was no longer a threat to them, but instead of being relieved, they would throw stones at the snake, or try to chase it away. People have this instinctive response to snakes. Whenever they see one, they feel compelled to commit some act of violence against it. The snake ignored the provocation for a while but it soon realised that this new state of affairs was not an improvement on the previous one.
A few days later the sadhu came by and asked how the snake's new lifestyle was going.
'Not so good,' responded the snake. 'I am suffering a lot on account of your advice. I am being very calm and I am not giving any trouble to anyone, but because of my calmness and sadhu-like behavior, people are taking advantage of me by throwing stones at me and harassing me. They would never do this before because they knew I might retaliate and bite them.
The sadhu thought about this for some time and then spoke.
'I advised you to be calm and not trouble anyone, but that doesn't mean that you have to sit here passively while people come along and hurt you. When people come to cause you trouble in the future, just pretend that you are going to bite them. You can be angry on the outside, but on the inside you can still be calm.'
From then on the snake adopted the new tactic of hissing at everyone who came past his bush, just to let them know that he was still a potential threat. This was enough to make people give him a wide berth.
We can all be like this if circumstances demand it. There are occasions when a show of anger is needed. We can play the role of being angry, but at the same time we can know that we are just acting out a role that is needed at a particular moment. Internally we can be peaceful while all this is going on.
~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks, Edited by David Godman